India is consistently being hit hard by air pollution year over year, resulting in a serious health hazard. Recognizing this, India’s largest research and development organisation, Council of Scientific and Industrial Research (CSIR), has developed less polluting firecrackers, which being claimed as environment friendly is also 15-20% cheaper than the conventional ones.
The firecackers are named as — SWAS (safe water releaser), SAFAL (safe minimal aluminium) and STAR (safe thermite cracker).
In what could be called as “Green Crackers”, SWAS has unique property of releasing water vapour and /or air as dust suppressant and dilutent for gaseous emissions and matching performance in sound with conventional crackers.
SWAS crackers eliminates usage of (KNO3) Potassium nitrate and Sulphur with consequent reduction in particulate matter (30-35%) SO2 and NOx. It has matching sound intensity with commercial crackers in the range of 105-110 dBA.
SWAS has been tested for shelf life upto 3 weeks with consistent performance.
STAR eliminates usage of KNO3 and S with consequent reduction in particulate matter (35-40%), SO2 and NOx. It has matching sound intensity with commercial crackers in the range of 105-110 dBA.
SAFAL has minimal usage of aluminium (only in flash powder for initiation)with consequent significant reduction in particulate matter(35-40 %) compared to commercial crackers. It has matching sound intensity with commercial crackers in the range of 110-115 dBA.
PESO has been approached to analyse and test SWAS/STAR/SAFAL from point of view of safety, stability and other related issues.
Also functional prototypes of flower pots for substitution of BaNO3 (Barium nitrate), a toxic inorganic compound, by low cost eco-friendly materials have been developed with significant reduction in particulate matter (30-35%).
These functional prototypes have been successfully demonstrated in Sivakasi to leading manufacturers. Sivakasi is a town in Indian state of Tamil Nadu and is known as hub of Indian firecracker industry, which is over RS. 6000 crore worth of annual turnover and provides employment opportunities to over 5 lakh families directly or indirectly.
CSIR-CECRI team, along with Krishna Fireworks at Sivakasi, has developed modified chemical formulations for flower pots, Jil Jil and bomb crackers since these are in high demand in the market and form a major share of the industrial profit.
The team from CSIR-CECRI has developed flower pots by using eco-friendly materials with consequent implications on particulate matter (PM) reduction by 25-30%.
Flower pot essentially comprises of alkali nitrates, Aluminium powders of different grain sizes and in some cases the binder to enhance luminescence. Aluminium has been used as a primary heat source and to produce flash. In order to reduce the ignition temperature and subsequently to minimize the particulate matter, Magnesium could be a viable alternative to Aluminium. During the field trails at Sivakasi, many different compositions were tested for developing modified chemical formulations of flower pot. Alternate chemical formulations for flower pots were prepared by replacing Aluminium with Magnesium chips and Magnesium based compounds.
Additionally, CSIR-CEERI, being an electronics laboratory, is also developing safe and pollution free technology of electronic crackers (E-crackers) to meet latent social aspiration of enjoying fireworks. It includes various products like E-Ladi, E-Anar, system for E-cracker show etc. At present CSIR-CEERI is ready with the laboratory level prototype of E-Ladi.
E-Ladi is based on high-voltage electrostatic discharge to generate light/sound effect. It is triggered by providing heat to the thermal switch which will give the excitement of firing the conventional cracker. The E-Ladi is also programmable to give various light/sound effect. The team from CSIR-CEERI Pilanihas devloped functional prototype of E-Ladi, demonstration is also planned in next two months.
The picture above shows the lab prototype of this concept on a decorative piece. High voltage generator is capable of producing very high voltage using the concept of tesla coil. These pods are connected in parallel to achieve desired light/sound pattern. The controller block consists of a pulse generator and a solid state device based circuit to control the switching of these pods. A video showing the operation of this E-Ladi is also attached herewith. The second version of this prototype will include compact form factor and thermal actuation arrangement.
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